Tales Series

MegaHobby Expo Koto photo
MegaHobby Expo Koto

MegaHobby Expo 2014 Autumn: Kotobukiya

My, that's a mighty nice chainsaw you have there ...
Dec 03
// Brian Szabelski
Kotobukiya's MegaHobby Expo 2014 Autumn offerings weren't too big on the new announcement side of things, but fans of Black Butler ~Book of Circus~ should be pleased. Not only were Sebastien and Ciel there, but so w...
Wonder Festival photo
Wonder Festival

Wonder Festival 2014 Summer: Kotobukiya gallery

There's so much more left!
Aug 02
// Jeremy Emerje Crocker
It's hard to believe Kotobukiya had so much stuff with them at Wonder Festival considering just how much they brought with them to San Diego Comic Con that same weekend. While they did bring a few things to both conventions, ...

What Natalie Is Up To: Studying for the JLPT

Jun 13 // Natalie Kipper
Here are my toy companions for the day. I had recently purchased Bandai Namco's Repede plush (more on this canine wonder later) so I thought I would have him, along with my Mieu and Tokunaga plushes, look on while I made efforts to stuff knowledge into my brain. First, a little background: I graduated as a Japanese major from UCLA and, we were told repeatedly that we would leave with the knowledge necessary to pass Level 2 of the JLPT. For the uninitiated, the JLPT has five levels, with Level 1 being the hardest and Level 5 being the easiest. Spoiler alert: I did not take Level 2. In truth, I have never taken any level of the JLPT. Best laid plans of mice and men, and all that. Very long story short, I am three years post-graduation, more than a little rusty/gun-shy, but determined to take the test this year. So yeah, Level 4 it is! This may look like a mere pile of books (more like a pile of toys) but these are actually my study materials. Here is what I use for my Lingual Enhancement Regimen: Goukaku Dekiru Nihongo Nouryoku Shiken, N4-5: A good albeit pretty pricey (US$42) workbook. I found actually pretty fun to work with. It uses the same test styles as the JLPT. Listening Comprehension CDs are also included. White Rabbit's Kanji Practice Flash Cards vol.1: I promise you have seen these at anime conventions. If not, you aren't looking hard enough. Genki II Textbook: I have had this one since community college and it still helps as a reference. A Dictionary of Intermediate Japanese Grammar: Very handy when you are unsure of how to phrase something or for translation. All About Particles: Great for figuring out what a particle means in a certain context. Finally, my beloved volumes of Konami Kanata's Fuku-Fuku Funyan, in their original Japanese. I am proud to say I can read them unaided without any problems. Tokunaga took a shine to my workbook. That day I mostly focused on reading comprehension. If I am to be honest though, my biggest weakness is listening comprehension. I really need to work more on that. To bolster my listening skills, I have a few podcasts and audiobooks in Japanese both of which I can follow along with text. If I make mistakes in the mock exam sections, I try to look up and learn more about the grammar point, kanji, or definition I missed. This is when the that book about particles and my grammar dictionary come in handy. Mieu wasn't in the mood to study and instead opted for a nap. Boy, do I understand that feeling. Hey, so that is where my manga disappeared to! I have a pretty nifty kanji dictionary for my 3DS. It was made for the DS so it region-free. I have been using it since college. Although... it seems that Repede had his fill of studying and is now starting up my file of Pokemon Battle Trozei. I guess that means it is time for a break! Are any of you studying for the JLPT? What level? Care to share any study tips?
What Natalie Is Up To photo
Or attempting to, anyways
Since I can't let Kristina and Scarecroodle have all the fun, I am getting in on this feature action. Besides writing up posts for Tomopop, I have been studying for the Japanese Language Proficiency Test or JLPT. But I haven't been doing it alone! Like guardian angels stuffed with fiberfill, my toys are always by my side. Read on to get a glimpse of one of my semi-daily study sessions!

WonFes 2014W Kotobukiya photo
WonFes 2014W Kotobukiya

Wonder Festival 2014 Winter: Kotobukiya scale figures

New Saber and Lum prototypes, plus Chuunibyou's Rikka announced
Feb 11
// Tianxiao Ma
We've already seen some of the new hotness that Kotobukiya brought to WonFes, but there's always room for more. Their scale figure lineup looks pretty diverse this year, which is great if you're sick of KanColle. Here's the r...

Kotobukiya's Colette photo
Will Kotobukiya paint her hands?
Akiba Hobby recently got their hands on a prototype of Kotobukiya's Colette Brunel. As a Tales fan, I really appreciate getting to look at Colette from angles and I am able to appreciate the craftsmanship that Kotobukiya put ...

Tomopop Review: Alter's Raven

Nov 22 // Jon Wills
Figure Name: Tales of Vesperia RavenFigure Maker: AlterPrice: ¥8,800Available at: AmiAmi | CD Japan | Play Asia | ToysLogic Old Raven here hails from Tales of Vesperia. I have long been a fan of the Tales of series, a few games have come and gone since Vesperia, but the game still holds a dear place in my heart. Most Tales games have good stories and great character designs, however it is without a doubt that Raven is one of their best characters. He is difficult to top in personality and charm, but actually has a good number of weak points which can be entertaining to poke fun at. Many people will be quick to point out, that Raven does not look that old, and if those people happen to be ladies then I assure you that Raven would get flattered and get all bashful and maybe flirty, just cause he is that kind of guy. On the other hand if the complimenter was a guy, well, he might appreciate it if they are genuinely a big fan of him, but generally he would find that person annoying and find more important things to do. There are some spoilers ahead in this review folks, but Raven lives a sort of dual life. He is a Captain of the Imperial Knights, and a high ranking member of an influential guild named Altosk. These two factions have great influence over the world that Vesperia takes place in and are often at odds with one another even though they have similar goals, just differences of opinions on how things should be done. The royalty can be corrupt, the guilds can be greedy, but when it all comes down to it they are two sides of the same coin. Its stuff like this that makes Tales of Vesperia a great game and Raven a great character to make a figurine of. So without further explanation let's check out the old man. If you have owned Alter's Yuri Lowell, Flynn Scifo, or Rita Mordio, then Raven's box will be really familiar. The wrap around window which we know and love is still there, but I think that Alter has taken the box design a little further and refined it to look extra good with Raven. Maybe it's because Raven's color scheme goes so well with the black and blue. However I think it's because Alter spaced everything out in the packaging to show it all off.  Here is Raven fresh out of his box. Before assembling him I referred to Alter's assembly instructions, but before I got to that I just had to check out his mini. He practically leapt out of the box at me! Raven's mini is pretty neat. His head is mounted on a ball joint that can spin all the way around to his backside and angle up and down a little bit. With that blush and expression it is fairly obvious that he is either checking out a lady or saying something rather fishy, either would be very appropriate for this old man. For comparison sake here we have minis from Alter's other collectibles of their Vesperia series. It seems like every mini gets better than its predecessor. Here we have the ruggedly handsome Raven. When I first saw him I wasn't sure why Alter had decided on this particular pose for him, or why they wanted to have him be sitting, but now it is really obvious to me. Well, for one he is sort of tall so had he been standing Raven would have towered over the usual 22cm height that Alter figures tend to max out around, but besides that the sitting posture and relaxed look totally bring out Raven's old man vibes! What better way to do that than having him sitting and looking relaxed? Well, they could have had him bent over with a crick in his back, but Raven isn't that old! Alter did a very nice job on Raven's head sculpt. His chin is appropriately squared and his eye features match his age well. The best part for me though has to be the rings under his eyes and the painted on stubble. Raven's hair is very spiky and black. I do like those spikes but they are sure to be dust and lint magnets. I predict that this version of his hair will require more cleaning in the future to keep it looking good. Here is his alternate Captain Schwann head. A few bangs of hair obscure one eye, but if you look closely you can see his painted eye behind them peaking out. The circles under his eyes are still present in this face but if you notice he has more facial hair here than there. Both hair styles are pretty neat and give different effects as you can see later in this review and in the gallery. As you can see he is very different with his Schwann face. However without his Imperial Knights Captain's uniform I feel that Raven's disguise is kind of incomplete. I'm not sure how often I'll use his alternate head, but it certainly does not look bad. Raven appropriately lacks bazongas. His casual attire looks comfortable and baggy. The seams around his arms are a little obvious, but at least the folds seem to make sense and continue naturally on either side of the seam. Actually, if anything, I have to give them props for doing such a beautiful job sculpting Raven's baggy cloths and overcoat. It's no easy task to sculpt them this well! From this angle you can better appreciate the stubble along Raven's jawline. I wish that stubble was done with careful plastic sculpting instead of marker, but that would have required a lot more work to pull off right. Also from here you can get a better look at Raven's short sword which he keeps cleverly hidden under his overcoat, it's even concealed a bit by his hand, and actually Raven hid this sword so well from me that I didn't realize he had it on his figurine until I unboxed him! It does make good sense that Raven has this sword though as a lot of his best damaging artes from the game use it for extra melee damage! I placed Raven's short sword next to him here so you can see how much of it he hides under his arm. I'm still kind of impressed by how well his clothing obscures it. Oh, by the way both of Raven's hands are removable, which makes it easier to place the short sword under his arm. You can also remove his left hand and place the bow in it, then attach the hand to his wrist, making it a little easier to make him hold his bow.  The bow that Raven holds is a very impressive bow called the Divine Cannon, it belonged to an old friend of his named Casey and to get it one had to go through a fairly involved side quest including beating some optional bosses. In the end though it was worth it and was a memorable enough event in the game, so I appreciate Alter reproducing this lovely bow to their exacting standards. The bow is pure white and the gold is very shiny on it. The white contrasts nicely with the rest of Raven's colors and yet the gold trim on it blends in well with Raven's yellow trim. Raven is my only 1/8th scale archer so I can safely say that this is my prettiest 1/8th scale bow in my collection. By the way, the bowstring on this bow is made of plastic and very fragile, I would suggest that anyone who purchases Raven to be very careful when tucking it under his coat. From this angle we are able to appreciate the old man's baggy pants and half-boots. I also thought this was one of the Schwann style hairs better angles. From the back we can appreciate the old man's slumping posture, though really we all know he is just leaning this way because it is comfortable. Also we get a good look at the rock which appears to be based on the Releweisse hollow canyon area of the game. This is a nice touch considering that a lot of Raven's back story gets revealed here, also if he is going to sit on a rock it might as well be a one that looks interesting right? Here is more of that Releweisse goodness and a closer look at Raven's half-boots. Alter captured the leathery look of those boots perfectly. Alter shows their skill in places like this, putting beauty where one would not expect to see any. As you can see my Tales of Vesperia party has finally climbed to four members! I've got Yuri and Flynn to get mad combos, Rita to back them up with heavy hitting spells, (or just to dominate the entire fight anyway) and old Raven in the back to provide healing support with his love shot arte and maybe a couple of good direct damaging artes for good measure. Despite being more of a supporting character than a main character, as a figurine Alter's Raven does a good job standing out on his own from the powerhouses above. His look certainly compliments theirs, but I think he can stand alone as a single awesome figurine from the Vesperia series, especially if he has a couple of lovely ladies to gaze upon. In the end I can heartily recommend Alter's Raven to any collector out there, but if you like Tales or pretty boys then you should definitely own this old man! It is very clear that Alter put a lot of effort into the details to make Raven as close to his character as possible, I even feel like they hit the mark more perfectly with him than with any previous character from the series. If you made it this far, I would like to thank you for taking the time to read my review! Please comment and let me know what you thought.
Review: Alter's Raven photo
All my heart baby, all my love!
Do you ever look at your collection and wish you had a couple more guys around in it? Well, if you do and you like the Tales of series, or JRPG's in general then you owe it to yourself to check out Alter's fantastic line of p...

Old Man assembly! photo
Old Man assembly!

ALTAiR provides Raven assembly instructions

Here's a little love to tide you over
Oct 31
// Jon Wills
Hey all! I'm sure you were as surprised as me, but ALTAiR's Raven has actually shipped out! To tide us over and get us ready for his arrival ALTAiR kindly published an article on how to safely assemble the "Old Man" Raven. Hit the jump If you want to see the details and sneak a few early peeks at your incoming Raven figurine! 
Pre-order Colette Brunel photo
Pre-order Colette Brunel

Pre-order Kotobukiya's Colette Brunel

Sweet, klutzy, collectible Colette!
Oct 22
// Jon Wills
Hey fellow Tales fans out there! Kotobukiya just announced that pre-orders are available for their adorable Colette Brunel, who comes hailing from Tales of Symphonia. She would be a perfect figurine to accompany Alter's ...
ToS HD Kyun Chara photo
ToS HD Kyun Chara

ToS HD collector's edition comes with Kyun Chara minis!

Kyun Kyun!
Oct 16
// Jon Wills
Our gamer friends over at Destructoid recently posted an article about a newly announced Tales of Symphonia Chronicles Collector's Edition which will be coming to North America some time in 2014. With the exception of being p...
Preview ALTAiR's Zelos photo
Preview ALTAiR's Zelos

Pre-order ALTAiR's chosen one Zelos Wilder right now!

He is so awesome he makes me Squee! Zelos I choose you!
Oct 09
// Jon Wills
It's been five lonely months since ALTAiR last teased us with an unpainted sculpt of Zelos Wilder and announced their plans to make a Loyd Irving sculpt at Tales Festival 2013. However my friends, the wait is over and it...
ALTER delays photo
Oh Alter, you should just add a question mark to all your release dates.
I knew things seemed a bit too quiet in Alter-land. After all, Alter wouldn't be Alter without a delay or two on a monthly basis, right? Right. They recently updated their September shipment schedule, and as you can probably ...

Kotobukiya photo

Wonder Festival 2013 Summer: Kotobukiya Part 2

Robots, rings and Millenium Rods
Jul 29
// Martin Siggers
But wait, there's more! Kotobukiya bought so much stuff just one post can't handle it, so let's crack on. We've now got much better shots of the triple tag-team of Marik Ishtars, Horizon in the Middle of Nowhere's Tomo Asana ...

Wonder Festival 2013 Summer: Time for some Tales of...

Fine, heroine first. But I better get a Sheena figure after this!!
Jul 27
// Chris Seto
Now would seem to be a good time to be a Tales of... fan. Tales of Xillia is getting a western release within the next couple of weeks, its direct sequel, Tales of Xillia 2 has been confirmed for a western release as well AND...
Tales Chibi Kyun Chara photo
Tales Chibi Kyun Chara

Limited edition LaLaBit market ToS bundle announced

Yes, it comes with Chibi Kyun Charas!
Jun 02
// Jon Wills
Tales fans, if you have not heard the news from Destructoid, Tales of Symphonia Chronicles is coming to North America in Q1 of 2014. For those of you unfamiliar with the series Tales of Symphonia was one of the few,...

Tales Fest 2013: Alter's Tales of Symphonia and more!

Don't fight, my honeys; there is lots of me to go around!
May 31
// Jon Wills
Fans of the Tales series have a lot of awesome news to look forwards to with the upcoming Tales of Festival 2013 on the horizon, but a little bit of that awesomeness leaked out ahead of time! Alter is making a 1/8-scale figur...

Megahobby Expo 2013 Spring: Alter

Not the most impressive, but certainly not left behind
May 25
// Kristina Pino
Alter's showing at Megahobby Expo notably included: A swimsuit version of Saber Alter (painted since WonFes) Tanigawa Kanna from Ano Natsu de Matteru (newly painted) Chitanda Eru Unpainted prototype for Takanashi Miu from Pa...

Tomopop Review: Alter's Jude Mathis

May 15 // Jon Wills
Figure Name: Jude MathisFigure Manufacturer: AlterRetail Price: ¥7464Available At: Otacute | Hobby Search | AmiAmi | Play Asia | Plamoya  Jude Mathis and Milla Maxwell are the lead characters of Tales of Xillia. You choose one or the other at the beginning of the game to be your lead though and that decision changes some of the CG sequences and perspective you see some parts of the story at. On my first play through at least, I think I will choose to play as Jude Mathis. I won't go into any spoilers as to why, but I hear that the back story you see with Jude is a lot more heartfelt and relevant to the story. But enough background nonsense, read on to see his figure. Jude comes in a small but practical box. Those who purchased Alter's Milla Maxwell will be able to instantly recognize the styling. It is very similar, but just a little bit smaller than Milla's box. Here is Jude through the front window. Because of his pose and design the plastic distorts the appearance of his figure through the front window. This makes it harder to recommend Jude to collectors who prefer not to unbox their figurines. Usually Tales figurines do not have issues like this so it is a little disappointing that Alter did not re-design their box some. Contained in the inner plastics inside the box is Jude, his base, and a extra head with a different expression on it. Before we get to Jude, first let's look at his base. It's much like Milla Maxwell's base, except featuring a different color. It is much larger than Milla's. There is nothing really exceptional about his base, but it does match his figurines colors well.  When I got around to placing Jude on his base I found that I was glad to have read Alter's assembly instructions ahead of time. I found them invaluable for swapping out his head and even putting his feet down onto their pegs. I know it seems obvious, but the fit is so tight that Jude's feet need to be placed onto all of their pegs at the same time. When I set him up it was a very snug fit. Jude looks fantastic just standing there. However there is more to Jude than what first appears. Follow along as we check out all the details. Jude fights with a brawling, gauntlet style, and by the look of these boots I bet he kicks too. From here you can see a better angle of Jude's stance. Also, you can see another angle on his boots. This overcoat has interesting shapes and symbols on it. It kind of has a uniform look, but really I'm not sure what the significance of it is. Still a lot of work was put into recreating it from the folds to the colors and patterns. It's obvious it was painstaking work. Because Jude is a brawler, he needs to have a sort of gauntlet style weapon. Why does he need a weapon you ask? Well, because it makes it more exciting when you find upgraded equipment for your character of course. That and his metallic gauntlets just look awesome. Jude's gauntlets are very different from one another. This is his left gauntlet which he is punching out with. It's smaller and seems to be attached to his wrist. Despite its small size, the gauntlet has lots of intricate paint work going on with its golds, the orange ties and accents, deep blues and if you look closely you can see two little green gems.  On Jude's right arm is this larger gauntlet. It seems to be more defensive as it covers his whole forearm in much the way that a tonfa could. It is patterned in mostly the same style as his right gauntlet, but has five gems. Despite their difference in size,  both gauntlets have the same number of ties on them. I can't wait to see how these gauntlets actually work in the game. Alter did a fabulous job at bringing out Jude's design to figurine form. This is one of my favorite angles of him. My eyes keep being drawn to all the wrinkles in his clothing and how perfectly the linework and everything flows with them. It may sound strange to some, but I think Jude has the best folds I have seen on a figurine. While Jude's hair may appear to be simple, it is more complex than you may think. If you look closely you can see that there is an upper layer as well as a lower layer showing more detail and texture. Also, while there is a visible seam which you can see on the side, but it becomes almost invisible as the appearance of it is reduced by all of his other hair textures. In the short time that I have owned Jude I have prefered his smiling face, but the more that I look at his smiling face the more I want to switch him to his serious expression. Thankfully switching expressions could not be easier as long as you follow Alter's assembly instructions. You can pop off one head and put the different one on. No tedious face swapping on the same head and this method keeps worrying of damaging hair to a minimal. Here is his serious expression from one of his best angles. Jude and Milla are great characters. However are they both just as good looking in figurine form? I may be biased but I think Milla is one of my best looking figurines on my shelf right now. I will say that especially by silhouette it is hard to say that Jude looks better than Milla, but when you look real close at the careful work that Alter has put into making Jude such a great figurine he manages to close the gap with Milla. Still, Milla manages to outshine Jude in the general looks department. I won't say it's just because she is female, there is something more magical to it than that. I think Milla is just built from the ground up to look good as a primary part of her character. That may not be the case for Jude. Still he does look handsome. When Jude is placed next to Rita Mordio he looks pretty good doesn't he? Rita's and Jude's colors and poses complement one another very well. Both are punching out and look to be in motion. Incidentally both of these characters are also 15 years old. No wonder they look so good together. After I was done writing up most of this I was taking more photos of Jude and while switching out his head for a more serious expression I found out something that is too funny not to mention. As you can see you can place his head on his base and it will balance well. Kind of creepy but yet sort of funny isn't it? In the end was Jude worth purchasing? I would have to say absolutely. As a fan of both the Tales of series and Alter he was a must buy for me. I still regret not purchasing Alter's Luke Fon Fabre. Even if you are not a major fan of Tales or Alter then he is still a very well crafted, dynamic male character. Thank you for reading my review through to the end. If you want to talk about Jude, or share your own experiences with him, be sure leave a comment. 
Alter's Jude Mathis photo
What a hotcake!
It's not every day that we see a boy figurine like Jude Mathis. However the Tales franchise and ALTaiR have a good history of making it happen. First to capture our hearts was Yuri Lowell, followed by Flyn...


Pre-order these Chara Land Tales minis by MegaHouse

Tales of Chibi really should be a game
May 10
// Jon Wills
Remember back in November of last year we announced that pre-orders were available for some cute Tales chibis by MegaHouse? Well apparently they sold okay because now MegaHouse is making a new batch of minis from mo...

Pre-order Alter's plush Milla Maxwell

This is an above average plush. It is an Alter plush.
Apr 26
// Jon Wills
When Alter makes something they always try to go the extra mile. This extra detail is especially apparent from their 1/8th scale models to their model jets and planes. However did you know that they work hard on bri...
What's better than more Estelle photos? Seeing the whole gang of course.
Just yesterday we announced that pre-orders are available for Alter's Estelle from Tales of Vesperia. Needless to say, this little princess has caught my attention. If you're like me and want to see more of her, the...


Jude Mathis is released: ALTaiR posts assembly advice

Tips to keep Jude looking good
Apr 25
// Jon Wills
Yes! There is lots of good news for Tales fans this morning. ALTaiR's Jude Mathis from Tales of Xillia just shipped out to buyers. I'm hoping that mine shows up early next week. ALTaiR just kindly released some assembly advice on their blog which people who purchased the figurine may want to review. Hit the jump to see a few basic instructions on how to safely assemble him. via ALTaiR's blog

Pre-order Alter's Estelle from Tales of Vesperia

Don't get cocky!
Apr 25
// Jon Wills
I hope all my fellow Tales fans have been waiting with as much anticipation of this news as myself. Here it goes everyone. Alter's Estelle from Tales of Vesperia is now available for pre-order! If you have been orde...

Wonder Festival 2013 Winter: ALTAiR

Feb 11
// Kristina Pino
What ALTAiR brought to display at Wonder Festival is nothing new. We've already seen Waver Velvet (Fate/Zero), Raven (Tales of Vesperia), and Jude Mathis (Tales of X'illia), as well as UtaPri's Tokiya and Ittoki, so where's t...

Wonder Festival 2013 Winter: Alter

Hope you like Nanoha figures
Feb 11
// Tianxiao Ma
I expected Alter to have a bigger presence at WonFes, but if you ask me they kind of phoned it in. Unless you're a Nanoha fan, there wasn't a ton of stuff to be excited about. Let's get the Nanoha stuff out of the way first. ...

Tomopop Review: Alter's Milla Maxwell

Jan 25 // Jon Wills
Figure Name: Milla Maxwell Figure Maker: Alter Retail/List Price: ¥8,800 Available at:  Otacute | Hobby Search | AmiAmi | Plamoya | Big Bad Toy Store I want to start off by saying that I love - no almost adore every Tales of game. They are excellent co-opable games to play with friends and have tons of likable characters. I could go on and on about this but you're here to see Milla. However if you have never played a Tales game I heartily recommend that you go and rent, or buy, one and give the series a try! Without further delay, let's get back to miss Maxwell. Not many people know about Milla as a character, but writing about her here would take up a lot of time and space! So, if you want to learn more about Milla herself I suggest you check out the excellent Tales Aselia Wiki. For now though, just keep in mind that she is sort of a summoner and learns to be pretty fair with her sword as well. Now, let's move on to her figure. The art on the box is nice. I like the flow of the colors. However, it would have been good if Alter had given Milla more of a wrap around window box, such as the ones the Tales of Vesperia set has been shipping with. For me this won't matter much though, because I prefer to open my boxes and display my figures on shelves or in display cabinets. She doesn't come with much in her package, just herself, base and sword.  Assembly was simple, but it took a little tinkering to place the hilt into her hand correctly. The back side of the hilt can be pulled off and then pushed into her hand where the sword is attached. The fit for this is really tight and I was afraid of scraping the paint in the process. It would have been nice if Alter had included a tiny instruction sheet for like they did for many of their past figures. Still, it was easy enough to figure out. The base has a patterning to it that I feel will be more significant to me after I have played Tales of X'illia. If I were to take a guess I would say it looks like some kind of magic circle. It is likely a summoning circle given Milla's background. Still, the effect is pretty neat and I like the little intentional bubbles in the plastic. So, how sturdy is she? Does she wiggle and wobble around? Nope! On the base there are three pegs that plug into Milla's boots. The fit is quite tight and secure. She definitely is not a leaner! If I were to describe her style I would say Milla looks kind of old school to me, almost like a classic anime heroine from long ago. She has a strong presence for a female character despite her Barbie doll coloring. Yet, her choice of clothing makes her look nothing like a Barbie doll. Follow along and we'll take a look at Milla from head to boot. What fabulous hair! Her hair sculpt is one of the crazier and more detailed ones I have ever seen. You can get a glimpse of it from above. From up here we see the top of her head and all the little etchings that were made to make her hair look like it was coming from her head and kind of make sense with how her bangs and hair flow down. It doesn't sound impressive though until you see how much hair this little lady has. Despite everything about her hair that makes sense her ahoge is kind of just floating out there. It is really cool though and a character designed trait of hers. I like how the color shifts slowly from golden yellow to blue-green. It kind of reminds me of how Corinne, Sheena's summon spirit's, tail looks. If you own the Kotobukiya figure check it out and you'll see what I mean. Milla's eyes are a sort of color mix between darker reds and pinks and the colors pop nicely against her bangs which come down across her face and cheeks. There is a more mature look to her eyes than what I am used to seeing on most anime girls, and rightfully so. Milla is not your typical teenaged anime character; she is just a little bit older at twenty years old. This shows a bit with her pointy chin and angular facial features. Never in my life have I owned a figurine with as much hair as Milla has! Look at all of those layers and sprigs of hair that go every which way as if being blown about, or perhaps lifted a bit, while casting a spell. Either way when I first looked at her hair a faint, "Wow" escaped from my lips.  After seeing this you should be able to have a better feel for how "three dimensional" her hair really is. It kind of shoots out and goes wild! One thing that I found was cool about Milla's lovely hair is that it is partly transparent, so if you shine light on it, it looks like it glows a little from the bits of light that do pass through.  Her sword looks very typical at a glance, but when you examine it  closely you can see a pattern painted on one side of the blade, and there seems to be a trigger near the hilt. Upon picking it up the first thing I noticed was that there was a blade, or something attached to the hilt, that was hinged and could swing out. I'm not quite sure what this is for, but it makes me that much more interested in playing the game to see it in action! Because Milla's sword is always held out in front of her like this, sometimes it almost feels like it's in the way. I don't really mind it so much because she is supposed to have her sword. Yet, sometimes I want to take her sword off to get a better look at her. Milla is fairly figuresque. Her breasts are smaller than most of of the other Alter girls that I have collected. Still, they look right here. They aren't huge and don't dominate the figure.  Milla has a lot of straps of different kinds that barely hold her clothing together. There seems to be a rope tie of sorts holding her skirt onto her shapely hips. On one leg she has lots of straps covering it. Some of the straps have a sort of 3D lumpiness that add bit of a more sturdy look to them, while other straps are just simple leather. I checked the original manufactures images and this is definitely by design and not a flaw. It's one of those finer details that Alter is good at covering. Here is a side perspective where you can see the arc of her back, as well as all of the little ties and paint work done on Milla's arm. Also, the paint work on the backside of her skirt is visible. I love all the attention to detail that was paid when painting and sculpting her figure. After seeing her in person I can understand why Milla was delayed twice before finally being released. These boots match the color scheme of the arm guards and follow the same basic design. I like how billowy they are at their tops and overall the design is as memorable as Yuri Lowel's impossible unlaced boots. I think the character designers for this character were trying to top the designs of all of their previous ones, maybe going a touch too far, but they had fun indeed. Stuff like this is part of what makes Tales awesome. I got to thinking about my other long haired beauties in my collection and wanted to show you a side by side comparison so you can  see how much hair Milla Maxwell has on her. Mugi (pictured left) has a lot of hair sure, but between volume and size Milla probably has four to five times as much hair as Mugi. I kind of just shake my head though when I try to compare Milla's and Yuri's hair. Milla probably has about fifteen times as much hair as him. Milla and Yuri's pose compliment one another. I think they make a beautiful pair of Tales heroes to display side by side. Between their poses and how they hold their swords, even their coloring contrasts just kind of works, with Yuri being plain, yet handsome, and Milla being bright and pretty.  I am sure that Jude Mathis will be jealous of Yuri, but he has not been shipped out to me yet, so he can't really complain until the end of January. I'm pretty smitten over Milla. She has a lot of mysteries to unravel and adding her to my collection adds to my desire to want to play Tales of Xillia that much more. She is a beautiful figurine in her own right though, and would look great in any anime or video game lover's collection. What do you think Tomopeeps? Do you like Milla? Did I go a little overboard this time with the details? Let me know in the comments.
Naturally, she's beautiful. She made herself this way.
Most of us living state-side have not had the pleasure of playing Tales of Xillia yet. However, you can import this lovely Milla Maxwell figure by Alter, or  pre-order Jude Mathis to have a reminder of how awesome it is ...

Now we're gonna have some fun!
Well, what do ya know? This old man we previewed just a few days ago is now available for pre-order. So I'm here to sound the trumpets to let everyone know that Alter's Raven is getting ready for some action! Even if you...

Hooray for the old man!
Last time we saw coverage of old man Raven  from my favorite JRPG Tales of Vesperia was during the Animate Girls Festival back in November. I could only imagine how pleased he was watching all the lad...

More goodies from the heroes of Vesperia and Xillia
Japan's MegaHobby Expo 2102 Fall is upon us, with Alter and ALTAiR showcasing the characters of the Tales series, specifically Tales of Vesperia and Tales of Xillia. From Xillia, we see an unpainted sculpt of Jude Mathis by A...

Brave Vesperia's archer is no longer just a teaser image
The next round of events in Japan has begun, opening with the Animate Girls Festival. And we certainly have a great way to start the fun, with a reveal of the previously teased figure of Raven from Tales of Vesperia ...


Pre-order these Petit Chara Tales of minis by MegaHouse

Tales of Chibi should be a game
Nov 11
// Jon Wills
I love Namco Bandai's Tales of series of co-op playable JRPG's. Many of my childhood and modern fun memories are filled with grinding through dungeons with friends and laughing at jokes while poking fun at the characters in t...

Alter's Milla Maxwell delayed again

Good things are worth waiting for
Oct 26
// Jon Wills
After a one month delay in September to October, Alter has just announced a second delay in the production of their beautiful figurine of Milla Maxwell hailing from Tales of Xillia. Her release date has now been pushed b...

Dengeki Festival 2012: Banpresto

Oct 20 // Natalie Kipper
Presenting figures from Kyousogiga, the To Aru series, and Tales series
As you might have gathered from other posts today, another toy event is going on in Japan! This time, the event in question is Dengeki 20th Anniversary Festival. Banpresto had a display there and, while it only showed figures...

Tomopop Review: Alter's Rita Mordio

Sep 10 // Jon Wills
Figure Name: Rita MordioFigure Maker: AlterRetail/List Price: ¥8,800Available at: Otacute | J-List | Plamoya  If you purchased ALTaiR's Yuri Lowell or Flynn Scifo, the design of Rita's box should be very familiar to you. The design is clean cut and simple. Those of you who like to keep your figurines in their boxes will be pleased. The boxes of Alter's Tales of Vesperia characters have generous wrap around windows that let you see your figurine from many sides without un-boxing them.  Rita comes in a few pieces: her figure, her stand, a forearm attached to her spell casting scroll, a loose book to hang around her neck, and a little version of herself. Assembly is very simple. I had to pull out Rita's mini figure first. Maybe I am just a sucker for these things but minis always add something extra to the value of the figure. Speaking of her mini, her pose is really adorable! I love how the mini managed to capture all of the key elements of Rita herself, her book and magnifying glass are represented, as well as many of the ribbons and key pieces of clothing! Ah, I can't get enough of that adorable face! I'm not sure if she is cheering or if she is embarrassed ... maybe both? In any case, it is nice to see a Rita with a different expression on her face. For a comparison, here is mini Rita with the minis of Yuri and Flynn. They look really cute together! Like Yuri and Flynn, Rita comes with a stone path style base.  It seems earthier, but it should match fairly well to the other bases in the set. I was really impressed by the amount of texturing put into this stand. I know her base is supposed to be made from plastic, but it feels like stone to me and there are a lot of fine details. It is much heavier than Flynn's or Yuri's and more stable. Rita stands on this base on only one foot; while this concerns me a little, she is very well balanced. Rita is really awesome, and I have always loved her character design. Her clothes are eccentric and mismatching, yet they seem to blend perfectly together. She has lots of flowing ribbons, bows, little books and tons of points of detail. There is a lot to love about this figurine. What's really cool is Alter managed to sculpt her into an action pose. She almost looks like she is about to launch a salvo of fireballs! Rita's scroll certainly has a strong presence in her figurine as she is twirling it around herself. I appreciate how wavy it is, yet all the lines are cleanly painted and adjust for the waves.  One thing I wish Alter had added would be a whip for an alternate weapon. Her scroll is really cool and well done, but I was always amused by how she would fight with a scroll, or a whip in the game. Maybe it's because I am also a fan of Soul Calibur, as one of Rita's spells "Ivy Rush", and one of her late game weapons, "Valentine", reference Soul Calibur's Ivy. However, it would also be nice for those who do not wish for the scroll to obstruct as much of her figure. The gadget geek in me loves all the pockets and little extras Rita has all over her outfit. Is that a measuring tape attached to her sash? Who knows what secrets that little book in her pocket may hold? There are lots of little details. For example, if you look closely, you can even see the holes on the belt that is hanging from the book on her back. It's all of the small stuff that makes this figure so cool. Her goggles are shiny and her face is cute as ever. I couldn't ask for a better expression for Rita. Check out Rita's magnifying glass; it magnifies and distorts the line on her top. I believe her book is called "Song of Gaia" in Tales of Vesperia. I am amused by the fact that it seems to be locked shut by key and belt. There was a lot of attention to detail to the patterns and etchings on this book. Rita's mismatched leg gear is also part of her charm. I love her boot with its silver buckles and how it has pants that go all the way up, while the other leg has a stocking of sorts that comes up to her thigh, but still shows a little skin. This is a key part of her outfit design and is very creative.  One minor complaint I have is how obvious the seam is in her hair, and it's really hard to get around this. I think it could be that her hair does not have much detail directly around the seam, thus making it stick out more. Here is Rita displayed with Yuri and Flynn. They really do look great as a set together, don't they? I think fans of the series will be pleased with Rita. You can see here that clearly Rita's base design is different than Yuri's or Flynn's. This is just speculation, but perhaps the designers wanted to make her base resemble something more from Aspio, Rita's home city rather than Zaphias, which is where Yuri and Flynn come from in the game.  Here is Rita pictured in my collection, for comparison's sake. She is accompanied by many other Tales characters. My active Tales party is looking a little heavy here with Momohime and Gintoki bringing up the rear, but it is a fun group irregardless! I think that Rita is a really sweet figure. Fans of Tales, mages, and oddly dressed characters should try to hunt her down. Hopefully, she will get issued reprints in the coming months like Yuri Lowell and Flynn Scifo did; however I am still waiting on a reprint of Luke Fon Fabre from Tales of the Abyss, so I would not hold my breath. Grab Rita if you still can!
Bla-Bla-Bla - Tidal Wave!
Rita Mordio, the fifteen-year-old "genius mage," is not only a cool tsundere with a giant spell book. She is also my favorite character from Tales of Vesperia, which is one of my favorite games of all time. However, ...


C3 x Chara Hobby 2012: Ichiban Kuji

Aug 27
// Kristina Pino
Thanks to the cool folks at Tokyo Hunter (particularly Ramon McGlown, who took pictures), we've got some great images of what Ichiban Kuji showed at the C3 x Chara Hobby event this weekend. Check out the gallery for pictures ...

Pre-order ALTAiR's Jude Mathis from Tales of X'illia

Aug 22
// Jon Wills
In a market dominated by female figures, ALTAiR has managed to carve itself a nice niche with their very successful series of Tales men. Yuri Lowell (reviewed) and Flynn Scifo (reviewed) by ALTAiR were both extremely popular ...

Wonder Festival 2012 Summer: Alter

Jul 29
// Kristina Pino
Not to be shown up by anyone, Alter is in with plenty of prototypes of new and upcoming figures, as well as a few other things we've seen before (like Charlotte Dunois which is up for re-release, Laura Bodewig which is up for...

Nendoroid Petit Tales of set now available for pre-order

Jul 18
// Andres Cerrato
We only brought it up it yesterday, but we also said that it would be up for pre-order today. As such news is finally true, you can go ahead and pre-order your box of Nendoroid Petit Tales of set. The retail box will come wit...

The Tales franchise gets its own Nendoroid Petit set

Jul 17
// Andres Cerrato
The Tales series has inspired a lot of fans over its span of nearly 20 years of JRPG releases. Of course, we tend to focus on the more recent stuff, as does Good Smile Company. The popular purveyor of characters turned i...

Alter's Rita Mordio delayed to July

Jun 05
// Brian Szabelski
Fans of Alter's Tales series figures have probably been looking forward to the next release in the line, Tales of Vesperia's Rita Mordio. Except now ... it's not going to make the scheduled time. Alter has indeed confirmed on...

Tales of Festival is underway in Japan and, dear god, do I wish I was there. The main reason, I am not ashamed to say, is the loot. Besides what ALTER has brought to event, Good Smile Company has also revealed six new Nendoro...

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